BOZICH | Monday Muse: Can Kentucky win (again) with 18 yards passing?
By Rick Bozich
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Kentucky can make another major statement toward winning the East Division of the Southeastern Conference Saturday. If Louisville does not beat Wake Forest Saturday, when will the Cardinals win a football game this season?
The World Series opens. NBA teams are playing — and fighting. College basketball teams can play exhibitions or secret scrimmages.
And, Aaron Matas, Eric Crawford and I are bound for Charlotte and ACC Basketball Media Day Wednesday. Can’t wait to see you, Coach K.
I can’t leave town without sharing a Monday Muse.
1. Will It Come To Pass That Kentucky Comes to Pass?
The most remarkable stat of the weekend, other than Purdue beating The Ohio State University by The Remarkable Margin of four touchdowns, was Kentucky winning a Southeastern Conference football game while completing three passes for 18 yards.
How unusual was that?
This is what I discovered: Both numbers — the three completions and 18 yards — were the smallest totals posted by any SEC team this season.
The only other SEC team with a sub 100-yard passing game was Mississippi State, with 59, 69 and 98 yard passing performances.
But nobody in the SEC has been under 59.
I kept checking. Only two Power Five teams have thrown for less than 18 yards in a 2018 game.
One was Georgia Tech, which completed one of two throws when the Yellow Jackets ran for a zillion yards against Louisville. The other was Rutgers, which completed two passes for eight yards in a loss to Maryland.
Can Kentucky keep it up during its final three SEC games against Missouri, Georgia and Tennessee?
As long as the Wildcats can run the ball, I guess it is possible.
How do those three teams rank in run defense? Just average. Missouri is seventh in the SEC, Georgia eighth and Tennessee 10th.
It’s no surprise the Wildcats lost to Texas A&M, the team with the SEC’s best run defense. Their four league victories have come against teams than rank fourth (Mississippi State), 11th (Florida), South Carolina (12th) and 13th (Vanderbilt) in stopping the run.
Don’t be surprised if Missouri puts 17 guys in the box Saturday in Columbia and dares UK quarterback Terry Wilson to beat them.
2. Weekly Ode To Jeff Brohm
Hard to imagine how Saturday night could have gone any better for Jeff Brohm and the Purdue football program.
National television audience. Packed house. The Great Urban Meyer coaching more 4- and 5-star recruits than any program other than Alabama. Purdue given little chance as a 12-point underdog.
You saw what happened.
America saw what happened.
Jeff Brohm moved to the front of the line as the Hottest Young Coach in the Nation.
What you might not have seen is this video from the Purdue locker room. I recommend watching it. It’s the best video I saw all weekend.
3. The Rajon Rondo Chronicles
The Purdue video is certainly more uplifting than the Rajon Rondo/Chris Paul video from Saturday night in Los Angeles.
If you have not switched to NBA mode yet, here are the Cliff’s Notes about what went down at the Staples Center:
The Rockets/Lakers game got chippy. Brandon Ingram and James Harden were two of the primary protagonists. Rondo, in his first year as the Lakers’ point guard, and Paul, the point guard for the Rockets and State Farm commercials, could not stay out of the fun.
Next thing you knew punches were flying. Paul said Rondo spit at him. Rondo strongly denied that. Paul earned a two-game suspension. Rondo earned two games plus a one-game bonus.
In this story at the Los Angeles Times, Clippers coach Doc Rivers said that he was not surprised. Rivers has coached both guys. He knows they’ve been chippy for years.
Here is the thing to remember about Rondo: He does head-shaking things like he did Saturday night — and then he shows up to support the football and basketball teams at Central High School. He makes derogatory comments to an NBA official — and then he purchases 157 jackets and ties for boys at a middle school in Louisville.
He’s human. Doing wonderful things. And regrettable things.
4. Fire Him. And Him. And Him, Too.
Anybody who argues that a group of Louisville football fans are being ridiculous for howling about Bobby Petrino and his coaching staff during the Cardinals’ awful football season, need to look outside the 502 Area Code.
Auburn fans have soured on Gus Malzahn — who signed a contract extension last year. Illinois fans have seen enough of Lovie Smith. Reasonable people have argued it’s time for Georgia Tech to make a move from Paul Johnson.
Ohio State fans were not ready to turn on Urban Meyer after the Buckeyes’ burp at Purdue. But if I was OSU defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, I’d be wearing Groucho Marx glasses and mustache to Starbucks.
5. Sneakers That Would Make Me Overpay
I do not own a pair of Jordans. Never have.
A pair of Yeezys. No, sir. I suspect I'm not the target audience.
The last pair of designer sneakers that I purchased were canvas Chuck Taylor all-stars.
But I would be interested in a pair of these.
Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook wore a pair as a tribute to former Turner Sports reporter Craig Sager, who lost his battle with cancer Dec. 16, 2016. The man left a mark with his fashion choices — and his reporting.
6. WKU: The Next Loyola?
The Loyola Ramblers turned the NCAA Tournament South Regional upside down last March, by roaring to the Final Four as the No. 11 seed by taking down Miami, Tennessee, Nevada and Kansas State.
One Loyola cannot be enough. There has to be another. The new season, which begins Nov. 6, will start with a rush to identify the next Loyola.
NBCSports.com has made its last. Guess which local team made it?
With non-league games against Washington, Arkansas, Belmont, Saint Mary’s and Wisconsin, the Hilltoppers will have ample opportunities to prove their worthiness.
(One Loyola note: The Ramblers travel to Indianapolis Saturday for a secret scrimmage against Archie Miller’s second Indiana team at Bankers’ Life Fieldhouse. I can’t give you more details. It’s secret.)
6. Just Say No — To Smelling Salts
At the Monday Muse, we’re more than an information, prediction and rumor site. We also believe in Public Service Announcements.
The Old School plan for dealing with head injuries was to shake them off and get back in the game. You had your bell rung. Take a hit of smelling salts and quit complaining.
Don’t do that.
7. The DeVante Parker Chronicles
DeVante Parker is 25, halfway into his fourth season as an NFL receiver. He’s big, fast and athletic. He should be the Miami Dolphins’ best receivers.
But it’s not happening for Parker in Miami — and it certainly appears that the former Ballard High and University of Louisville star is on his way to exchanging his playbook for a plane ticket.
Parker has played in two games this season, catching a pair of passes while only being targeted on two other throws. The Dolphins’ coaching staff says that Parker has not been healthy. Parker’s agent says Parker is healthy.
I say when a relationship dissolves into a He Said/He said situation and plays out in the media, keep your eye on the transaction wire.
8. Can You Spare Me a Dime?
We’ve all seen the Castle on Versailles Road in Woodford County on the route to Keeneland. If you asked me to pick an athlete most likely to own a castle, Derek Jeter would be the near the top of my list.
In fact, after saving money by trading Christian Yelich from the Marlins to the Brewers, I’d expect Jeter could afford a couple.
Jeter’s castle in the New York area is for sale — for roughly $15 million.
Who wants to take a look?
9. Red Sox/Dodgers?
WDRB will be your World Series home in Louisville, starting with Game Two from Fenway Park Tuesday night.
Red Sox vs. Dodgers not only matches two teams that many predicted would be the best in the Major League Baseball, it’s also a battle of two high payroll teams, from franchises in major markets with the tradition and star power to create more chatter than, say, a World Series matching Cleveland against Colorado.
Are there any local angles?
Well, there used to be.
Boston has its share of local fans, dating to the days when the local Class AAA affiliate was the Louisville Colonels, the top Red Sox farm club until 1972.
The only player with local ties is Sam Travis, Kyle Schwarber’s teammate at Indiana. Although Travis had 36 at bats with the Red Sox this season, he’s not on the Boston World Series roster.
The Dodgers’ top local connection is former Louisville and Kentucky Country Day catcher Will Smith, who earned a promotion to Class AAA this season. Look for Smith to be added to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster next month. No World Series for him.
The Dodgers will be the team of choice in Lexington. Former Henry Clay star Walker Buehler started Game Seven of the National League Championship Series and figures to get the ball in Game Three or Four of the World Series. Buehler, who has a nice Twitter account, is in line to be the next Dodgers’ ace. (His Twitter account is @buehlersdayoff.)
10. Rick Pitino Tweet of the Week
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